East Arete via South East Ridge
4th Mod. Snow
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Parker and Chris on the knife-edge, Banner peak on...
This route includes a very exciting ridge traverse. The East Arete proper can also be gained from either the glacier north of, or the cwm south of Lyell, both of which are considerably easier. There is also a way to reach the East Col from the ridge directly east (gained from Middle Marie Lake), this is also 4th class.
Use Rush Creek trail.
After wading across the outlet of Lower Marie Lake, hike easily along its west shore and over the creek that drains Middle Marie Lake. Scramble up scree/talus/slabs on the east slope of the peaklet to the east of the outlet of Upper Marie Lake. Easily cross the outlet of Upper Marie Lake then head up and across the top edge of the permanent snowfield ahead. Cross this and on the other side traverse a ledge system to a short gully which leads to the easy scree slope heading up to the crest of the South East Ridge.
Carefully traverse this wild and airy Class 3 ridge, some loose blocks, until it becomes a talus slope, up this and when it levels off (before it becomes a steep rock ridge) cross (involving a possible snowfield traverse) to the notch which constitutes the East Col of Lyell.
Pass through the notch and onto the glacier and walk up this until it's possible to gain access to the East Arete, about where it stops being level and steepens up. Head up to and climb the ridge direct for a little while (4th Class) until you spot a large duck on the right of the arete. Pass this on its left and climb ever steepening Class 3 rock (more than one way to go) through a notch and up to the summit.
The arete direct is Class 5.
Carefully descend the route - this is least risky way off and back to Lower Marie Lake.
Start from Lower Marie Lake.
Solo, ice-axe extremely useful.
|Photos of East Arete via South East Ridge Slideshow
BETA PHOTO: Plan view of route, with approach from Lower Marie...
The approach seen from camp at Lower Marie Lake.
Lluis crossing the snowfield to the East Col notch...
Chris on the West Summit.
(c) Tony Tennessee.